In the next year, decisions about Caltrain will shape transit service in our region for decades to come. Your help will be needed for Caltrain to modernize, serve riders, and serve our communities.
Here are 12 ways you can help in the New Year.
1) Strategic Plan: Thanks to everyone who came out on December 16 and who posted comments online – your vision includes more frequent all-day service, level boarding for faster service and better transfers, grade separations for safety and reliability, and of course wifi. Watch for more chances to weigh in this Spring.
2) Capacity Crunch: the most popular baby bullets have been standing room only. Watch for announcement in early 2014 about new train cars and opportunities to restore service to ease the capacity crunch
3) Downtown Extension to Transbay: The Transbay team had a dramatic proposal to get Caltrain tracks extended to downtown San Francisco by 2022. Can this be done? Watch and weigh into the key decisions at the Transbay board this winter.
4) Electrification: The Caltrain electrification environmental impact report is due this winter – with estimates about the financial benefits of electrified Caltrain, tree and traffic impacts in your city, and more.
5) Electric train car shopping. In 2014 Caltrain will decide what train cars to buy, including decisions about level boarding, high speed rail compatibility, and space for bikes.
6) Electrification funding. About half of the funding for Caltrain electrification comes from the High Speed Rail project. Watch for updates on HSR seeking routes out of its legal woes, and potential backup plans to fund electrification if needed.
7) Stable funding. San Francisco is planning a 2014 ballot measure to keep their commitments to Caltrain – and Muni, and safe biking and walking. Watch for ways to help in SF – and more on plans for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
8) Grade separations. San Mateo County is giving grants for grade separations to improve safety, reliability, and traffic. Santa Clara County intends to consider grade separations in their next strategic plan. San Francisco is studying a dramatic proposal to turn the end of 280 into a boulevard, extend DTX, and ease Muni to MissionBay – watch for a study that’s getting started now
10) City support: in San Mateo, Redwood City, Mountain View, and maybe Palo Alto and Menlo Park, cities are taking responsibility for traffic, parking, and transit access. Stay tuned and help your community take responsibility for transportation.
11) Do you appreciate these updates about opportunities to save and improve Caltrain? Click here to donate
12) Do you have skills or referrals for nonprofit accounting services, basic web design help, and blogging/social media? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have friends who’ll want to help making Caltrain better? Invite them to join.
Something else important that’s missing from this list? Add your ideas in comments.